La Dolce Vita


by Emily Wirth

It’s time for dulci on the piazza. Shops displaying flowered dresses and designer purses are closed, their gates separating shoppers from their wares. Yet a child is seen running through the square, chocolate gelato dripping down her chin; her parents follow closely, smiling.
A mountain breeze swoops down to help the gelato cool residents. It carries with it the scent of a fresh mountain landscape from above and mingles with the smell of cigarette smoke. A group of old men make themselves comfortable on the steps of city hall, chatting about life and politics while they laugh at each other’s jests. Two adolescent girls clasp each other in adoring affection before they order a treat from the welcoming café window. They walk off hand in hand while enjoying their evening desserts.
Motorcycles suddenly roar into the piazza. A young man drives the first, a beautiful girl in a fashionable pink helmet holds him tightly. They pass without stopping. A father and his son are on the second bike. They park in front of the café and approach the window for a treat, greeting lifelong companions on the way. The third motorcyclist too parks at the café. He will inevitably approach the window like so many others before him. For now he stops to catch up on local gossip.

Bells chime the hour. More approach the piazza. Young and old alike continue to live this “sweet life” and breathe a collective sign of content.

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